Zack Whittaker

Zack Whittaker is the security editor for ZDNet, covering cyber and national security. He is based in New York newsroom, and is also found on sister-sites CNET and CBS News. You can reach him with his PGP key: EB6CEEA5.

Charlie Osborne

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charlie currently works as a journalist and photographer -- with the occasional design piece -- and writes for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has particular interests in social media, IP law, social engineering and security.

Latest Posts

Black Hat Sneak Preview

Black Hat Sneak Preview

Rob McMillan from IDG interviewed John Heasman and I today about the presentation we will be delivering with Rob Carter at Black Hat Vegas next week. The article has a good teaser about one of the more interesting of the many attacks we will cover, namely what we've coined the GIFAR attack.

July 31, 2008 by in Enterprise Software

Black Hat talk on Apple encryption flaw pulled

Black Hat talk on Apple encryption flaw pulled

Brian Krebs from the Washington Post "Security Fix" Blog reported that one of the talks slated for next week's Black Hat convention on a previously undiscovered flaw in Apple's FileVault encryption system has been canceled, the researcher citing confidentiality agreements as the reason he will not be speaking.The article states:Charles Edge, a researcher from Georgia, had been slated to discuss his research on a weakness that could be used to defeat FileVault encryption on the Mac.

July 31, 2008 by in Security

Web worms squirm through Facebook, MySpace

Web worms squirm through Facebook, MySpace

My colleagues at Kaspersky Lab (see disclosure) have intercepted two new worms squirming through MySpace and Facebook, using social engineering lures to plant malware on Windows systems.The worms propagate via the comments features on the two popular social networks, using video lures and fake Flash Player downloads to trick end users into installing malicious executables.

July 31, 2008 by in Collaboration

CSRF vulnerability allows Twitter 'follow' abuse

CSRF vulnerability allows Twitter 'follow' abuse

Last week, TechCrunch's Jason Kincaid wrote about an obvious Twitter vulnerability that allowed a user called "johng77536" to game the popular micro-blogging service to add thousands of followers (subscribers) in a short period of time.The "johng77536" account has since been disabled but a security researcher tracking Twitter security flaws and weaknesses has discovered a new vulnerability that lets users easily game the "follow" system.

July 31, 2008 by in Security

HD Moore pwned with his own DNS exploit, vulnerable AT&T DNS servers to blame

HD Moore pwned with his own DNS exploit, vulnerable AT&T DNS servers to blame

A week after |)ruid and HD Moore release part 2 of DNS exploit, HD Moore's company BreakingPoint has suffered a traffic redirection to a rogue Google site, thanks to the already poisoned cache at AT&T servers to which his company was forwarding DNS traffic :"It happened on Tuesday morning, when Moore's company, BreakingPoint had some of its Internet traffic redirected to a fake Google page that was being run by a scammer.

July 30, 2008 by in Enterprise Software

OS fingerprinting Apple's iPhone 2.0 software - a "trivial joke"

OS fingerprinting Apple's iPhone 2.0 software - a "trivial joke"

Just like every decent web service out there wanting to identify the iPhone's mobile Safari browser in order to serve custom applications, in this very same way malicious attackers would like to remotely identify iPhone devices through a basic pen-testing practice known as OS detection or OS fingerprinting. It seems that the difficulty level of identifying an iPhone device using nmap's criteria is a "trivial joke", namely, it's too easy to accomplish :"So, nmap 4.

July 30, 2008 by in Security

Evolution is punctuated equilibria

Evolution is punctuated equilibria

Guest editorial by Dino Dai ZoviIn evolutionary biology, the theory of punctuated equilibiria states that evolution is not a gradual process but instead consists of long periods of stasis interrupted by rapid, catastrophic change.  This is supported by fossil evidence that shows little variation within a species and new species that appear to come out of nowhere.

July 29, 2008 by in Security

Passports worth £2.5 million stolen in van hijack

Passports worth £2.5 million stolen in van hijack

Graham Tibbetts of the UK Telegraph is reporting that the British Foreign Office has admitted to losing around 3,000 passports and visa stickers, which were stolen on their way from Manchester to RAF Northolt in London, where they were to be sent to British embassies.  From the article:Officials claimed the chip technology incorporated in the passports would prevent them being used.

July 29, 2008 by in Security

Neosploit exploit kit shutters operations?

Neosploit exploit kit shutters operations?

The distributors of Neosploit, one of the more dangerous drive-by download exploit kits on the Internet, have shut down operations because of financial problems, according to malware researchers at RSA FraudAction Research Labs.In a blog entry, the company said it found evidence that Neosploit will no longer be supported (yes, the do-it-yourself malware installation kit comes with terms of service and customer support!

July 28, 2008 by in Security

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